Yoko Ono has purchased TV ad time to address New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the deadline nears for his decision about whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in the state. Also known as “fracking,” it is a method way of extracting natural gas from underground rock that opponents say has disastrous environmental effects.
The 30-second spot will start airing in New York City, Westchester County and Albany on Friday, and will run through next week when Cuomo announces his decision. The ad shows Ono speaking directly to Cuomo: “Since you haven’t met with me about the dangers of fracking, I will show you now on TV.” Set to John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth,” what follows are images of toxic tap water and running faucets catching fire when exposed to an open flame, alongside footage of wells that end up leaking 60 percent of the time and are often too deep to fix. “P.S. Nice to meet you, Governor,” Ono adds at the end of the clip.
Along with this ad, Artists Against Fracking – the group Ono started with her son, Sean Lennon – have also purchased air time for the winner of the group’s #DontFrackNY video contest.
“After visiting with families in Pennsylvania whose water, homes and lives have been hurt by the gas industry, I wanted to show Gov. Cuomo and the public what I saw,” Ono said in a statement. “He must know what could happen to New Yorkers – our air, our water, our climate – if he allows fracking.”
Ono and Lennon have sought a meeting with Cuomo for months. They started Artists Against Fracking back in July, and have since spoke out against the process in a New York Times op-ed and on billboards. Recently, mother and son appeared in Albany where they gathered with other activists and dropped off 50 boxes reportedly filled with 204,000 anti-drilling comments at the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Ono and Lennon also have a personal stake in the matter: If fracking is allowed, a gas pipeline could be constructed near the house Ono and her late husband bought in the Catskills. “He loved it there because we had our own well water,” Sean said of his father, adding: “I wanted to save my own house and drink the water first, and then it sort of escalated from there. That house was my dad’s house and still is, so I’m sure he would’ve been on our side.”